God is alive and active within us
Eileen Stulak, spiritual leader, Unity Church of Lawrence, 900 Madeline Lane:
God is not silent and invisible. God is active and alive in each of us and expressing through us.
In Unity, we believe that every person has the presence of God within them. It is through our connection with this spiritual aspect of our being that we become aware of our oneness with God and our oneness with all people.
Jesus demonstrated this union with God at a level which has not yet been attained by anyone else. However, Jesus also taught that we could do greater works than he did. He was and is our way-shower. With that in mind, it is ours to accept and embrace the divinity within us and strive to bring it forth into expression in our world just as Jesus did. It is for us to continue to teach and be living examples of love, forgiveness and peace.
We do this by spending time in prayer each day, affirming the one presence and power in our lives ... God. We do this through the thoughts we hold in our minds, the words we speak and the actions we take. As we begin to live our lives with an awareness of our unending connection with God, with the intention of expressing God to those we meet, the voice of God becomes heard. The presence of God becomes visible.
Is God silent and invisible? Absolutely not. We are creations of God and co-creators with God in this earthly experience. God speaks through us and moves through and as us. And it is for us to allow God to do so in ways that allow others to more deeply experience the Divine simply by being in each other's presence.
- Send e-mail to Eileen Stulak at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding God is a gift to be earned
Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, Chabad Jewish Center, 1203 W.19th St.:
Many eons ago, before children and their parents' leisure time was spent with electronics, mothers and fathers would actually spend considerable amounts of time playing and bonding with their children.
One of the favorite pastimes was the game of hide and seek. A parent would climb beneath, say, the sofa and wait for the cry of delight which would inevitably accompany the child's discovery of the parent. The pride the children would take in their incredible sleuthing skills was only matched by their parents' pleasure - seeing how happy their children were to find them.
Our collective Father also enjoys the game of hide and seek. He wants to have a meaningful relationship with his children but realizes that a commodity is rarely treasured when it is unearned, with no effort having gone into its acquisition. So he decided to hide himself.
He hid himself in the obvious hiding places, such as in prayer, in an act of kindness, in charity, and many other places where one would think of looking for him. But to make the game a bit tougher, and the end result so much more satisfying, he also hid in many unconventional hiding places - places where one wouldn't think to search for him. In nature and in "coincidences." In fact, unlike the conventional game of hide and seek where often one must search many a nook and cranny before finding the one hiding, our father manages to be hiding everywhere, making every moment of our lives part of this grand game of hide and seek.
But if he is hidden, how are we to know to search for him? Taking this concern under consideration, our Father devised an ingenious plan, to give us a penchant for searching. He wired us to be instinctively dissatisfied with any status quo; to always feel the urge to search for something more, something deeper.
And search we do. And he waits in his hiding places and eagerly awaits the cry of delight which will come accompany our discovery of him.
- Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel can be reached at email@example.com